When you think of high school sports football, basketball, or volleyball might come to mind. But why not rock climbing? Competitive indoor climbing is a new sport taking off across the country. This weekend the first ever high school indoor climbing competition is taking place in the Black Hills.
SDPB’s Charles Michael Ray has more.
Stewart Huntington is an organizer for the Black Hills High School Indoor Climbing Competition. He says climbers get points for the speed and height they reach on a climbing wall. Huntington says the competition is open students across the state who climb at all levels even beginners.
“This part of the country has a great history and a great infrastructure for team sports -- football, basketball, hockey. There aren’t a lot of opportunities for the kids that aren’t drawn to those organized team sports. And this is another opportunity for kids who might otherwise be sitting on the couch playing Nintendo,” says Huntington.
Huntington says climbers vie for individual boys and girls awards. Coed teams of five students also compete for team trophies. He says next school year the first National Championship in High School Climbing is taking place. He says South Dakota is a natural area to start the sport, given the great climbing in the Black Hills – He believes someday South Dakota could produce a national champion.